Survey shows YUHS can improve

The Yale College Council reported mixed responses to its survey, which closed last week, gauging student knowledge of and satisfaction with University Health Services. The council is currently compiling data to present to a standing committee this Friday.

While some preliminary statistics have been gathered, YCC representatives said they hope to organize their data more formally before presenting it to the committee, which will include both undergraduates and YUHS representatives. YCC member Govind Rangrass ’08, who is responsible for analyzing portions of the survey about the mental hygiene department, women’s health issues, and YUHS communication with the student body, said the initial survey results show students are generally satisfied with the quality of care they are receiving from YUHS, though some were specifically unhappy with urgent care wait times and the availability of contraception.

“Relating to emergency contraception, 80 percent of students [who participated in the survey] were satisfied with YUHS, and 85 percent were satisfied with their physicians,” Rangrass said.

But Rangrass said survey participants expressed the desire for emergency contraception to be offered in advance — information that will likely prompt the YCC to make policy recommendations to YUHS.

YUHS Director Paul Genecin said that because Health Services has not yet had a chance to review the data, he cannot say whether or not any changes will be made based on the YCC recommendations. But Genecin said he thinks the survey was well-designed and that YUHS is always looking to improve.

“We are always interested in member feedback and making changes based on information that we acquire in a number of different ways,” he said.

Rangrass said the survey has allowed the YCC to become aware of specific problem areas, in addition to measuring overall student satisfaction with health services. One problem identified by students responding to the survey is YUHS’ ability to effectively communicate information, he said. Rangrass said that more than 60 percent of students who took the survey said they do not believe that YUHS reaches out to students adequately to inform them of available services. Rangrass said many students are even confused about how to schedule appointments.

“YUHS needs a clearer way to disseminate information,” Rangrass said.

Rangrass said he believes communication issues must be dealt with by the administration.

YCC member R. David Edelman ’07, who headed the committee that designed the survey, said another problem brought to the YCC’s attention was some dissatisfaction among students with the Urgent Care Department at YUHS. Edelman said survey participants were quantitatively more unhappy with Urgent Care than with either Student Medicine or the Sexual Health Department.

Edelman said the goal of the survey was to pinpoint existing problems.

“We are trying to target specific parts of YUHS that we think can be improved, and then work with YUHS to try and address these issues,” Edelman said.

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